Memorials of the Faithful
Ustád `Alí-Akbar, the
Cabinet-Maker,[Ustád is a master, one who is skilled in an art or profession.] was
numbered among the just, a prince of the righteous. He
was one of Persia's earliest believers and a leading member
of that company. From the beginning of the Cause a trusted
confidant, he loosed his tongue to proclaim the Faith. He
informed himself as to its proofs, and went deep into its
Scriptures. He was also a gifted poet, writing odes in eulogy
Exceptionally skilled in his craft, Ustád produced highly
ingenious work, fashioning carpentry that, for intricacy
and precision, resembled mosaic inlay. He was expert in
mathematics as well, solving and explaining difficult problems.
From Yazd, this revered man traveled to `Iráq, where he
achieved the honor of entering the presence of Bahá'u'lláh,
and received abundant grace. The Blessed Beauty showered
favors upon Ustád `Alí, who entered His presence almost
every day. He was one of those who were exiled from
Baghdád to Mosul, and he endured severe hardships there.
He remained a long time in Mosul, in extremely straitened
circumstances but resigned to the will of God, always in prayer and supplication, and with a thankful tongue.
Finally he came from Mosul to the Holy Shrine and
here by the tomb of Bahá'u'lláh he would meditate and
pray. In the dark of the night, restless and uneasy, he
would lament and cry out; when he was supplicating God
his heart burned within him; his eyes would shed their
tears, and he would lift up his voice and chant. He was
completely cut off from this dust heap, this mortal world.
He shunned it, he asked but one thing--to soar away; and
he hoped for the promised recompense to come. He could
not bear for the Light of the World to have disappeared,
and what he sought was the paradise of reunion with Him,
and what his eyes hungered to behold was the glory of the
Abhá Realm. At last his prayer was answered and he rose
upward into the world of God, to the gathering-place of
the splendors of the Lord of Lords.
Upon him be God's benediction and praise, and may
God bring him into the abode of peace, as He has written
in His book: "For them is an abode of peace with their
Lord."[Qur'án 6:127.] "And to those who serve Him, is God full of kindness."[Qur'án 3:28.]
This chief of free souls, of
wanderers for the love of
God, was only an infant when, in Mazgán, he was suckled
at the breast of grace. He was a child of the eminent
scholar, Shaykh-i-Mazgani; his noble father was one of the
leading citizens of Qamsar, near Káshán, and for piety,
holiness, and the fear of God he had no peer. This father
embodied all the qualities that are worthy of praise; moreover
his ways were pleasing, his disposition good, he was
an excellent companion, and for all these things he was
well known. When he threw off restraint and openly declared
himself a believer, the faithless, whether friend or
stranger, turned their backs on him and began to plot his
death. But he continued to further the Cause, to alert the
people's hearts, and to welcome the newcomers as generously
as ever. Thus in Káshán the fame of his strong faith
reached as high as the Milky Way. Then the pitiless aggressors
rose up, plundered his possessions and killed him.
`Alí-Akbar, the son of him who had laid down his life in
the pathway of God, could live in that place no longer.
Had he remained, he too, like his father, would have been
put to the sword. He passed some time in `Iráq, and received
the honor of being in the presence of Bahá'u'lláh.
Then he went back to Persia, but again he longed to look
upon Bahá'u'lláh, and with his wife he set out over the deserts and mountains, sometimes riding, sometimes on foot, measuring off the miles, passing from one shore to the
other, reaching the Holy Place at last and in the shade
of the Divine Lote-Tree finding safety and peace.
When the beauty of the Desired One had vanished
from this world, `Alí-Akbar remained loyal to the Covenant
and prospered under the grace of God. By disposition
and because of the intense love in his heart, he
yearned to write poetry, to fashion odes and ghazáls, but
he lacked both meter and rhyme:
I planned a poem, but my Beloved told me,
"Plan only this, that thine eyes should behold Me."
With rapturous longing, his heart desired the realms of
his compassionate Lord; consumed by burning love, he left
this world at last, and pitched his tent in the world above.
May God send down upon his grave, from the Kingdom
of His forgiveness, a heavy rain[Qur'án 2:266, 267.] of blessings, bestow a
great victory upon him, and grant him mercies, pressed
down and running over, in the retreats of Heaven.
Memorials of the Faithful
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